Northampton

Northamptonshire PC dismissed for Auschwitz eBay sales

Auschwitz gates Image copyright Reuters
Image caption PC Matt Hart listed barbed wire and "fence insulators" from the concentration camp

A police officer who sold items from Auschwitz on eBay has been dismissed without notice.

PC Matthew Hart listed barbed wire and "fence insulators" from the concentration camp on the website.

A Northamptonshire Police disciplinary panel found the sales "contravened his declared business interest".

It said PC Hart, who had denied the allegations, had shown "an extreme lack of judgement and insensitivity". He has the right to appeal.

The officer faced four allegations relating to the selling of historical items linked to World War Two, specifically items connected to Auschwitz and the Third Reich.

A panel found the allegations relating to the sale of items on eBay proven as gross misconduct, following a disciplinary hearing at the force's headquarters in Northampton.

It said PC Hart had shown an "extreme lack of judgment and insensitivity".

The items were not stolen and "no criminality was alleged and none was found", the panel said.

It found that the officer had a "genuine historical interest in this period of history" but said what "had been taken and done was insensitive and inappropriate in the extreme".

'Shocked and disgusted'

There was no evidence "his activities were driven by any extremist right-wing views, sympathies with or allegiance to Nazi or neo-Nazi ideology", the panel added.

It said PC Hart "sought to justify his conduct at every step and offered a rationale which cannot be accepted by the panel".

John Josephs, president of the Northampton Hebrew Congregation, condemned PC Hart's actions at the time.

"I am absolutely shocked and disgusted," he said.

"Quite frankly it is bad enough that someone has taken the items from the camp in the first place, let alone that they are being sold by a police officer who should be setting an example."

A further allegation that PC Hart had also sold knives was found not proven, the panel said.

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